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Not 100% sure what marketing is, or how to do it?

Discussion in 'Sales, Marketing & PR' started by AllUpHere, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 1,840 Likes: 620
    As some of you will know, I'm a marketing and business development consultant who specialises in speaking to business owners just before they embark on any kind of marketing activity, to make sure they base all of their decisions and activities on a sound strategy. As such, I speak to many hundreds of small business owners every year. If I could pinpoint one topic of conversation that gets clients thinking about marketing in the right way, more than any other topic, it's this.

    Marketing is everything you do. There isn't a single thing you do in your business that shouldn't be thought of as marketing (or shouldn't at least be considered from a marketing perspective).

    If you are struggling to understand exactly what marketing is or how it should be used, try thinking of it like this. It shouldn't take you long at all to have a much better understanding of what marketing is, and how you should be incorporating in into absolutely everything you do.

    Marketing isn't another name for advertising, or a way in which you find clients (although obviously, if done well marketing will provide you with as many clients as you could ever need). Marketing is a process you use to tailor every part of your business to both meet the needs of your target market, and also to maximise your profits. Whilst I'm on the subject, it's also the way in which you choose who your target markets are in the first place, and also how you find out what their needs are.

    I hope some of you find the above thought provoking.
     
    Posted: Feb 25, 2015 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
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  2. fisicx

    fisicx It's Major Clanger! Staff Member

    Posts: 25,642 Likes: 7,603
    Good post.

    The other thing is the underestimation many people and businesses have of the amount of effort marketing can take. There are innumerable threads on UKBF from people struggling to get sales but when questioned about how much makering they have done if often reduces to posing on facebook and tweeting.

    Markering can be 90% of everything you do. The other 10% is processing the enquiries.
     
    Posted: Feb 25, 2015 By: fisicx Member since: Sep 12, 2006
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  3. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 1,840 Likes: 620
    Thanks. Yep, completely agree with the comments above.

    The only thing I would add is that even dealing with your enquiries should be thought of as marketing too.
     
    Posted: Feb 25, 2015 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
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  4. StevePoster

    StevePoster UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

    Posts: 768 Likes: 115
    What i noticed in marketing as one of the most important factor to provide effective results is to know what you are doing in your field and not just the advertising stuff that is always the face of marketing field.
     
    Posted: Feb 27, 2015 By: StevePoster Member since: Nov 29, 2013
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  5. ParcelBright

    ParcelBright UKBF Contributor Free Member

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    You could say we live in a marketing economy in 2015... mining, industry and retail are all well established and stable industries - while marketing continues to evolve faster on a daily basis.

    The problems we solve in business today are mainly marketing related.
     
    Posted: Mar 2, 2015 By: ParcelBright Member since: Aug 11, 2014
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  6. JamesMason67

    JamesMason67 UKBF Regular Full Member

    Posts: 382 Likes: 58
    Marketing in my opinion, and as AllUpHere says is everything you do in your business. Absolutely everything.

    From the first telephone conversation to completion of works is all marketing. If you are at all sensible you will be punctual, polite, friendly, professional, dependable etc. etc. Why? Because you are that kind of person? Hopefully. But the driving force behind these qualities is that you want these people to buy from you. Or buy more from you, which is the same reason you buy an ad, build a website..whatever. To coax people to buy and keep buying.

    Getting the sale is only the first part of marketing, particularly in a service industry

    Running a great business and marketing are one and the same. My couple o' pennies.
    James
     
    Posted: Mar 3, 2015 By: JamesMason67 Member since: Feb 21, 2013
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  7. Great post! I'm sure this will get a lot of people thinking. This quote "it's also the way in which you choose who your target markets are in the first place, and also how you find out what their needs are." is particularly interesting and definitely something we should all consider more.
     
  8. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 1,097 Likes: 228
    I'm going to disagree on this one.

    Branding is everything you do. There isn't a single thing you do in your business that shouldn't be thought of as branding (or shouldn't at least be considered from a branding perspective).

    Marketing is what you do when your product/service isn't profitable enough per sale to justify a sales force.

    A sales force is what you use when the product/service isn't profitable enough to justify the directors/founders selling the product/service.

    At the other end, viral marketing is what you use where your product isn't profitable enough to justify marketing.
     
    Posted: Mar 6, 2015 By: NickGrogan Member since: Nov 15, 2012
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  9. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 1,840 Likes: 620
    Hi Nick.

    Thanks for your comments. They are very interesting.

    I think we run the risk of simply arguing over semantics regarding what marketing actually is though.

    I would argue that without marketing you wouldn't even have a product or service to sell, and you certainly wouldn't have any idea who you were going to sell them to if you did.

    I'd also argue that using a sales team is simply what you have to do if your marketing strategy isn't strong enough to sell the product without them.
     
    Posted: Mar 6, 2015 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
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  10. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 1,097 Likes: 228
    You can of course define marketing however you want, however if you define it too broadly it tends to lose focus.

    "I would argue that without marketing you wouldn't even have a product or service to sell, and you certainly wouldn't have any idea who you were going to sell them to if you did. "

    As could an operations expert, logistics expert, hr expert and so on. In the same way a surgeon will always want to operate, etc.

    There are plenty of businesses that work very well without significant/any marketing.

    "I'd also argue that using a sales team is simply what you have to do if your marketing strategy isn't strong enough to sell the product without them."

    Could you give some examples of high value products that are sold by marketing alone?
     
    Posted: Mar 9, 2015 By: NickGrogan Member since: Nov 15, 2012
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  11. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 1,840 Likes: 620
    There are many businesses that think they don't do any (or much) marketing, but that's simply because they don't know that what they are doing is marketing.

    A business that successfully designs a product or service for a specific profitable target market, and tailors that product or service to meet the needs of the market to such an extent that they don't need to 'promote' it, is a really good definition of a company 'doing marketing'.
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2015 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
    #11
  12. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Full Member

    Posts: 1,097 Likes: 228
    Could you give an example of a company that's done this? I can't think of any...
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2015 By: NickGrogan Member since: Nov 15, 2012
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  13. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Are you referring to my first or second paragraph?

    I'm confused as you said in your earlier post that you know of lots of businesses who do well without marketing (using your definition of marketing), but now can't think of any.

    Are you asking me to provide an example of a business who meets the description in my second paragraph?
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2015 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
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  14. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Full Member

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  15. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Thanks for clarifying.

    How about an example from this forum? @cjd of Voipfone is fairly well known here for not advertising his services, instead preferring to concentrate on working out exactly what his target market wants, and then finding ways to use the technology at his disposal to offer a service that is perfect for their needs. I think I am right in thinking that nearly all of his clients come from referrals (as well as a few from his posts on here obviously).

    I'd be very interested in your examples of businesses that don't use marketing. I'd be very surprised if any of them actually exist without using marketing (rather than simply without advertising or promotional marketing).
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2015 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
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  16. NickGrogan

    NickGrogan UKBF Ace Full Member

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    The same @cjd that has posted over 14,000 times, that has entered and won numerous competitions, which he lists in his signature, that has very active twitter, facebook and google+ accounts, that runs a support forum and blog along with his website? That has setup a wikipedia page? That has case studies on clients websites, that has articles in the Guardian and other news papers. That has articles on Uswitch and seems to posts to most business forums? Is that the one?

    I'd use @cjd as an example of someone who markets a lot and does a very good job of it.

    Example no marketing businesses.

    My parents run a small farm, breeding lambs. They hire a ram from a friend, fatten up the resulting lambs until they reach an appropriate age/weight and then sell them at auction. The price is dictated by the age, weight and condition of the lambs. Repeat annually.

    Simple, profitable business, no marketing.
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2015 By: NickGrogan Member since: Nov 15, 2012
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  17. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    Posts: 1,840 Likes: 620
    That's my point. All of the things he does are marketing by my definition, but many would argue that he does not market his services (by the very popular definition of marketing that refuses to make a distinction between marketing and advertising).

    I copied this directly from his website.

    'We do not advertise, do not resell and do not have a sales force. We grow by word of mouth and reputation alone.'

    As I said at the start of this conversation, we are still just going round in circles because there is no one fixed 'definition of marketing'.
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2015 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
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  18. cjd

    cjd UKBF Legend Full Member - Verified Business

    Posts: 15,111 Likes: 2,972
    We don't advertise - never have - and we don't have any sales people. We don't have a marketing budget either. We spend a lot of time on in-house SEO so people can find us from organic searches. We also use PR from time to time; in-house mostly though we did get professional help when we won the Queen's Award. (We take a lot of trouble with awards - they're free PR, but you have to be good at what you do first to win them.)

    But primarily, we regard our products and services and our customer support as real marketing - it speaks for itself, it doesn't need to be spun. So we spend 12% of our gross turnover on R&D and 77% of our staff are directly customer facing.
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2015 By: cjd Member since: Nov 23, 2005
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  19. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

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    It would seem that your 'marketing success' has come mainly from efforts that would not traditionally be seen as marketing, for example putting the effort into finding out what services would best meet the needs of your clients, then using R&D to develop and deliver award winning services.
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2015 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
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  20. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

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    That's a good example of a business which need not do any advertising, but could certainly gain from thinking of many of the things it does from a marketing perspective. For example, when choosing which Ram to use, I'm sure they look for one which will give the offspring more desirable or 'marketable' characteristics.
     
    Posted: Mar 11, 2015 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
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